Some people "love zoos" --- We love animals!
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Bullhooks hurt ...
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Bullhook supporters rationalize bullhook use and claim they are like a "leash" or that they can be used "properly" or that it's like the extension of a keeper's "arm" or that it's like a mother elephant's "trunk."

Each of these claims is ridiculous.
Bullhooks are rods with solid steel pointed ends (resembling a fireplace poker) which are specifically designed to inflict pain. If it were like a leash, it would look like a leash ... people's hands and elephant trunks are not made of steel. The claim that this weapon can be used positively is pure nonsense - the very nature of the bullhook is to dominate through fear and violence (i.e. get the elephant to fear the bullhook through violence). This is the only way it works - there are no "good" ways to use the bullhook .. which is why all sanctuaries forbid use of the bullhook and more than 50% of all zoos no longer use bullhooks. Only circuses and backward zoos and handlers still use this archaic and violent method of domination.
 

"No matter how gently the ankus may be used with an animal, at some point it had to be established as a negative reinforcer in order to be effective. That means causing enough pain and discomfort that the animal remembers, and seeks to avoid that experience by complying. "  Gail Laule and Margaret Whittaker, experts in elephant training - click here for article.

 
 
Photo, right:  Petal, Kallie and Bette perform for their bullhook-wielding keepers before being allowed inside the barn to eat.  Click here and here for videos of the keepers using bullhooks on the Philly elephants. 

WATCH A VIDEO OF POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT TRAINING, WHICH IS PRACTICED AT SANCTUARIES AND MORE THAN 50 percent OF ZOOS WITH ELEPHANTS - click here.

More progressive zoos like the North Carolina Zoo and Oakland Zoo phased out the use of

bullhooks and fear-based management of elephants years ago.  Read this article from a keeper

from the Oakland Zoo to learn more about why bullhooks are bad for elephants:

The Oakland Zoo Improves the Lives of their Elephants, by Colleen Kinzley

 

 

 bullhook

http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2010/07/22/Elephant-attacked-zoo-keeper-when-he-returned-to-stall-second-time.html